By CASSIE WERBER
Centrica, one of the UK's main energy providers, has signed
a deal to buy billions of cubic meters of liquefied natural
gas from a US plant, in the first deal clearly intended to
bring gas from North America to the UK.
The contract with Cheniere Energy Partners will see Centrica
import 1.75 million tpy of gas, enough to power around 1.8
million UK homes, according to a statement by the firm. It
is the first such deal between a US supplier and a UK
Sam Laidlaw, Centrica's CEO, said in the statement: "In an
increasingly global gas market, this landmark agreement
represents a significant step forward in our strategy...helping
to ensure the UK's future energy security."
The contract is subject to Cheniere getting the necessary
regulatory approval and securing finance before it becomes
In February, Centrica announced that it would not be
participating in a plan to build new nuclear power stations in
the UK, and there has since been speculation as to where it
will deploy the cash reserves on its balance sheet. In the
company's preliminary results statement the firm indicated that
it planned to expand its North American business.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news, saying in
the statement: "Future gas supplies from the US will help
diversify our energy mix and provide British consumers with a
new long-term, secure and affordable source of fuel."
Energy security in for the UK "lies in diversity," according
to Ed Davey, the UK's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate
Change, also quoted in the release. Mr. Davey noted that the UK
is already supplied with gas from Norway, the Netherlands and
Dow Jones Newswires